Adulting is the concept of doing “adult” things. No, I don’t mean rated R things. I mean tasks that require someone responsible, such as applying for a mortgage, paying off debt, and holding a 9-5 job. The concept of adulting recently became popular when a large number of this generation’s students walked out of high school with their diplomas but little knowledge of the practical skills that all adults should be able to handle. Oftentimes, going to college doesn’t remedy that problem because there is no class on what things adults should know how to do.
Back in the day, home economics classes were common and covered topics such as personal finance, food science and health, textiles and clothing, family resource planning, and so much more. This definitely wasn’t a class where you would sit around asking yourself, “When will I ever use this?” Nowadays, you rarely see home ec in high schools. Some argue that having such classes would be regressive, but the truth is there are some tasks adults should know how to do.
1. Learn how to budget.
Handling money is not something that only bankers or accountants should do. You should have a good idea of your current financial state, especially if you have loans or credit cards with balances. Having a budget will shed light on your spending habits and ensure that you don’t spend money that you don’t have. No one likes debt, right?
Practical Money Skills great budgeting basics lessons that you can read at your own pace. Check it out by clicking here.
2. Figure out who will handle your taxes.
At some point, your parents will probably want to hand your taxes over to you. Decide whether you want to learn how to do it yourself or if you want an accountant to handle it. The IRS is probably not going to take, “My parents were supposed to do it!” as an excuse for not paying penalties.
3. Put together a flawless resume.
Do you like to look up reviews on an item before you invest in it? That’s basically what a resume is. You are an investment for a company. Why should the company you’re applying for select you out of the other tens or maybe even hundreds that have also applied? Learning how to put together a resume is the first step to landing that job.
4. Learn how to be on time.
On time for a get together with friends and on time for work are two different things. With friends, it’s okay to be a few minutes late. They’re not paying you to spend time with them. (At least, I hope not!) On the other hand, your work is expecting you to provide services in exchange for money. Most likely, you and your employer agreed on what times and days you are expected to be there. Now, you don’t have to be 30 minutes early or anything like that. Just get to work at a time that you’ll be ready to work when your shift starts, not putting away your stuff and waiting for your computer to boot up. Remember, five minutes early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.
5. Cook something using an actual recipe.
You’re eventually going to want to eat something other than ramen and TV dinners. While takeout is convenient and filling, eating out every night can really put a dent in your wallet. Cooking at home not only saves money, but it gives you control of the portion sizes, the option to choose healthier ingredients, and be 100% sure you are avoiding any allergies or food sensitivities you may have.
6. Practice your conversation skills.
This is probably my least favorite thing when it comes to things adults should know how to do. Small talk can be awkward, especially if you’re not familiar with the person you’re talking tom but sometimes, you just can’t avoid it. You might be stuck in a conversation with someone because it’s your job. Maybe you’re actually applying for a job and you’re being interviewed. Learning to be a good conversationalist also makes you appear more confident, and that’s always a plus.
7. Learn to control your drinking.
There’s a lot to learn when you take your first sip of alcohol. Remember to eat before you drink, never mix alcohol, and so on. You will eventually need to move on from your party days and control yourself. The last thing you need is your coworkers talking about how you got wasted at a party while you sit there with no memory of the event.
8. Get along with others.
Just like there are conversations you just can’t avoid, there are people you just can’t get away from. As an adult, you don’t have to get along with every person you meet, but you do have to learn to be civil with people, especially at work.
9. Work on your listening skills.
There’s a difference between hearing things and listening to things. When you hear something, you are simply perceiving the sounds. On the other hand, listening requires concentration because your mind is trying to process and make sense of what is being said. Working on your listening skills greatly improves how well you communicate. One way to work on your listening skills is to practice mindfulness. Getting in touch with your own needs can help you become more empathetic and more attentive to others.
You can also check out this article from Skills You Need about effective listening.
10. Learn how to protect yourself online.
We are in the digital age, and technology keeps on evolving, so it makes sense that cybersecurity falls under things adults should know how to do. With everything from banking to games existing online, take a moment to protect your identity and money by learning how to secure your logins. Setting up two-factor authentication is a whole lot easier than trying to recover from identity theft.